That may not be easy. Some scientists and consumer advocates charge that biotech companies have not proven their products are safe, citing studies showing lasting hazardous effects of genetically altered plants on the environment. And while some of the alarm surrounding modified foods may be overblown, as the biotech companies allege, consumers' deep-seated fears are not easily allayed. "Lots of people have a visceral, knee-jerk reaction to the idea of eating a rewired plant," says TIME science writer Jeffrey Kluger. "It's not uncommon to have second thoughts about eating a tomato that's been injected with flounder genes to make it more cold-resistant."
Fears like this can translate directly into poor market performance. Disastrous sales in the European market may have scared some sense into the biotech companies, but their new p.r. campaigns may be a few bushels shy of a load. "It could be too late for them in Europe," Kluger says. "Now, these companies are just trying to save the game in the U.S."